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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Internazionali D'Italia Adamello Bike XC Vermiglio

Race two of our internationl campaign. I had actually ridden this race before back in 2008 when I raced it as a junior in the lead up to the World Champs that year so it was pretty cool to be returning two years later. Single track is scarce but the unique part of this track is the section through the streets of Vermiglio, a few stairs, cobbles, alley ways and the vocal support form spectators cheering from there balconies and windows definitely makes Vermiglio different from the usual race track.

The main descent is so steep that you really have to control your speed, there is a big gully off to the side near the top that you don’t want to go riding into and rocks and stairs lower down make it quite tricky. The other down hills twist through paddocks and were good fun with a few natural jumps and nice slalom corners. Climbing wise the track was tough, the longest climb started out extremely steep and it was a struggle to even ride it especially in the latter part of the race. The grade did ease near the summit before a hike a bike section took you right to the top below a water fall. The other main climb is rough and rocky and came after a tight corner which hooked straight back up the hill from a descent.

The race was another character building session, for the first part of the race I found the pace really tough. The hardest part was the flat sections, the speed would really get cranked up and I lost a lot of time to the stronger riders. A lap into the race and it suddenly started pouring with rain. The track got greasy really quickly and it got very cold. We even got pelted with hail at one stage. I had a couple of loose moments in the slippery conditions but managed to stay upright and finished relatively strongly passing several riders in the last couple of laps to finish in 29th position.

I am reasonably happy with my result. The step up in performance that comes with racing in the Elite level in Europe is really tough but thats why I am here, to race and learn from the best. I will look to improve next week back in Switzerland at the next round of the Swiss Racer Bikes Cup in Engelberg.

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